October 10, 2012

Gush & Awe: How American Politics Reinforces Stereotypes of Wifehood

    Some weeks ago, I watched two prominent women in the national spotlight, who spoke to American audiences in their roles as longtime partners of the men contesting the 2012 Presidential election. In speeches that were televised across the United States to an audience of millions, first Ann Romney and then Michelle Obama [...]

October 01, 2012

Violence Against Women Awareness Month

    In October, we kick off Violence Against Women (VAW) Awareness Month on the blogosphere. VAW Awareness Month began as a completely voluntary, yet cohesive online campaign in 2011, when a group of dedicated bloggers/volunteers decided to band together and raise awareness about this social anathema that isn’t going away in a hurry. [...]

June 22, 2010

Free Trail Of Cialis

Apu Free Trail Of Cialis, THE DVD OF LOVE, Sex aur Dhokha has been lying around at home for some time, but it was only over this weekend that I got around to watching it. Directed by Dibakar Banerjee (of Khosla ka Ghosla fame), LSD is actually three stories in one, with peripheral links to each other, Free Trail Of Cialis india.

The first one is a mushy love story, the second an MMS sex scandal and the third, Free Trail Of Cialis ebay, about the media's voracious appetite for 'stings'. It is the second and third stories that really hold your attention; the first one is slow to heat up and I almost forwarded a little of the first 10-15 minutes. Yet, my mind keeps going back to it, 250mg Free Trail Of Cialis. (This post isn't a movie review though.)

*Spoilers here, beware!*

When the love story of Rahul, aspiring director at a film institute and Shruti, the "Simran" of his film begins, it is hard not to think of this love story as more a paean to DDLJ than anything else, Free Trail Of Cialis. Cheesy like the film they are making, it is hard to imagine that Rahul and Shruti really love anything beyond the feeling of being in love. Free Trail Of Cialis japan, And yet, given the conservative family Shruti comes from, there is no possibility of their dating or getting to know each other. Love must lead to an elopement and marriage almost immediately, Free Trail Of Cialis craiglist. Rahul's blithe confidence that after marriage, the family will "come around", Free Trail Of Cialis paypal, is almost revolting to watch in its stupidity. Free Trail Of Cialis, The end, when it comes, is gruesome, even though nothing of this honour killing is really shown.

Just yesterday, the Supreme Court has issued a notice asking the Central Government (and a few states), why they are doing nothing to combat the recent spate of honour killings.

The thing about us Indians is that we pride ourselves on our superior 'Indian values'; we lose no chance to deride Western societies for their (alleged) lack of affection, Free Trail Of Cialis usa, 'family values' and morality. Nowhere is this more evident than in our smug attitude to the upbringing of children. 750mg Free Trail Of Cialis, It is so common to hear people talking as though Indians are the only people that know how to bring up children well - everywhere else, children are neglected, spoilt, abused and grow up to have no love for their parents, 200mg Free Trail Of Cialis.

And yet, this is the country where a good chunk of people are all too ready to sacrifice their children in the name of honour, Free Trail Of Cialis us, society, family name and blah blah. Honour killing is one extreme end of the spectrum, but the unwillingness to accept children's choices and their happiness as a primary consideration exists in many other forms, ranging from emotional blackmail to being 'cast out of the family'.

Gajar-ka-halwa aside, we need to stop kidding ourselves. I suppose we have good and bad parents like everywhere else, but no magic beans that qualify us as the best parents on earth.

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July 17, 2009

Retin A During Pregnancy

Retin A During Pregnancy, ACCORDING TO THE calendar Parsis follow, today is my birthday. It is an event only family and very close friends know about, 1000mg Retin A During Pregnancy, the more popular occasion being my date of birth next weekend. Of the seven people who wished me a Happy Birthday today, four followed it up with blessings for a good sasroo, Retin A During Pregnancy overseas, i.e. 50mg Retin A During Pregnancy, marital home/in-laws’ home. All were women above 50, all educated, 500mg Retin A During Pregnancy, all married themselves and surrounded by several singletons of their age who appear fairly happy and not about to kill themselves from the ignominy of not being part of a pair. (Parsis have the lowest rate of marriage in India, with significantly higher levels of social acceptance for those unhitched than most other Indian communities.)

Some years earlier, this act of wishing a sasroo upon me would have irked me no end, Retin A During Pregnancy. Retin A During Pregnancy australia, Now it must be old age and its consequent mellowing effects because today I was only mildly annoyed and half-amused that educated, supposedly liberal women in an urbane setting still think of the seeming security a husband and his family can offer as their foremost wish for me.

Oftentimes, Retin A During Pregnancy uk, it isn’t a well thought-out greeting, 40mg Retin A During Pregnancy, just a bouquet of lines trotted out over generations, dating back to an era when a marital home indeed meant security and the blessing of a stable life. My mother mentions with a touch of sentimentality (and she isn’t even a sentimental sort of person) that the “Now next year, 100mg Retin A During Pregnancy, celebrate your birthday in your sasroo” wish was bestowed upon her year after year by her own mother, 150mg Retin A During Pregnancy, despite knowing full well that her daughter was going nowhere until she finished her accounting degree (which she did at age 28).

I know they only mean well, all these women, Retin A During Pregnancy india, and I view them with a recently-found tolerance that has me quickly scanning my hair for any change in color. But I do wish they would realize that the best blessing they can possibly bestow on me is success and happiness in the face of life’s challenges and the ability to be my own safety net. And the freedom to choose my own path, even if it doesn’t lead to the much-exalted sasroo.

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July 16, 2009

Acidophilis Cipro

Apu Acidophilis Cipro, LATELY, I SEEM TO BE hearing a lot about the break-up of marriages and subsequent divorces. There was the Hiphop Grandmom writing on incompatible alliances and how they've led to the breakdown of marriages. Then, today, over at the F Word Blog, I read a piece on how British Tory party members want a provision for a 'three month cooling off' period in divorce cases. If you look at the comments section on HHG's piece as well, you will see one line of thought that couples are getting divorced "too easily" or for "frivolous" reasons.

In the last 3 years, 10mg Acidophilis Cipro, I've seen a number of people in my own circle applying for divorce. Now, the plural of anecdote is not data, but considering the friends I've seen and human nature and Indian society, I feel that people who are going in for a divorce are not doing so for frivolous reasons or on a whim. You may not agree with their specific reason, or you may think they should have tried harder, but whatever it is, I feel divorce is still a very hard route to take, not the easy way out.

Why, Acidophilis Cipro.

One. Marriage is still the holy grail. 40mg Acidophilis Cipro, However accomplished we are, whatever shape our careers may be in, marriage is still presented as pretty much the biggest thing in women's lives and it is drilled into our heads that a marriage is something we must keep at any cost. Because of this, most women will hesitate to think of divorce, unless the situation really calls for one.

Two. Marriage is not just about two individuals. In India at least, most marriages, Acidophilis Cipro canada, even 'love marriages' are not just between two individuals. Acidophilis Cipro, The family is involved in a big way, the wedding ceremony is a huge event and there are still very high personal and social costs to breaking it up (beginning with not getting your jewellery back to having your in-laws spread malicious rumours about you within the community, it all happens.) With so many people involved, the divorce can rarely be amicable. Not just that, chances are your own family will be the strongest voices urging you not to go in for a divorce. For people to disregard all that and go in for divorce - well, that says something about the marriage, doesn't it.

Three. Both for men and women (perhaps more so for the latter), 150mg Acidophilis Cipro, while 'divorcee' may not carry the kind of stigma it once did, its not exactly acceptable either. If the person wants to remarry and goes down the traditional arranged route again, in almost every case, they (esp. women) will need to look for a divorcee or a widower. Few single people would be willing to 'risk' going with someone who's been divorced once, Acidophilis Cipro. Having to marry a divorcee or a widower is not of course in itself a bad thing, but what I'm trying to say is - the choice basket for a divorcee, Acidophilis Cipro uk, esp a divorced woman gets considerably narrow.

Four. Economic dependence. Let's assume this is not an issue for many younger, well-off couples where both partners are working. But, if there are kids in the equation, Acidophilis Cipro paypal, it is highly likely that the woman would have either slowed down on the career track, lost a few years or given up her career altogether, all impacting her earnings. Acidophilis Cipro, It's not an easy decision to take, to go from a financially-secure-if-unhappy home to making your own way again, especially if you are at an age where restarting your career is difficult. Also, not all families allow women to work, so there will be many younger women who've simply never worked outside the home in their lives. What about poorer people. Here in fact, 250mg Acidophilis Cipro, women are more likely to be working and supporting the family, so they are not totally dependent. But, even today, few women own assets like farmland or property that can be a safety net. Plus, go back to point number three, Acidophilis Cipro.

Five. Post-purchase rationalization. Acidophilis Cipro craiglist, Not just in India, but everywhere in the world, people invest of themselves significantly in a marriage. If they've made the choice of partner themselves, they're likely to take some pride in it. And when there is pride in one's choice, there will always be some amount of post-purchase rationalization. He's not alcoholic, just someone who likes his drink, 50mg Acidophilis Cipro. Acidophilis Cipro, She will give up her career eventually. It's human nature to do this. People don't like to just abandon the choices they've made, because that says something about them. In the Indian context, in arranged marriages, this is one reason why parents are often so strongly in favour of working on the marriage. Acidophilis Cipro usa, Considering all of this, is it time we stopped thinking of those going in for divorces as silly people fighting because one person doesn't leave the toilet seat up. Let's acknowledge the reality of people's lives which is that marriages break down for a variety of reasons, few outsiders known the inside story, no one really asks for emotional upheaval in their lives and not every marriage is worth saving.

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July 06, 2009

Clomid And Endometriosis

Meena Kandasamy Clomid And Endometriosis, RECENTLY, I PARTICIPATED in the launch function of a documentary film Pottu about the hardships and social humiliation faced by widows and deserted women in Tamil Nadu. Produced by the Kalangarai Trust which works among the widows in the southern district of Nagappattinam (particularly in Vedaranyam, Sirkaali and Poompuhaar), the 50-minute documentary attempts to describe the torture that widows are forced to undergo in the name of tradition. The documentary started off with a young girl's story: the gaudy ceremony surrounding puberty, her early marriage (to prevent the chance of the family name getting “spoiled” if she were to be left “free”), the dowry that her parents are forced to pay, Clomid And Endometriosis ebay, the hard work that she is forced to do in her husband's home, his alcoholism and domestic violence, his death and finally, her enforced widowhood. Although Pottu seemed to make of every cinematic cliché, Clomid And Endometriosis coupon, some issues highlighted by the documentary deserve to be taken up for debate.

Bangle-breaking ceremonies (where all the symbols of marriage: the red kumkum mark (pottu), the thaali (mangalsutra) are removed) are notoriously common in Tamil Nadu's southern villages. In fact, these ceremonies are conducted before dawn, when even the gods are supposedly sleeping, because such a merciless sight is capable of disturbing even them, Clomid And Endometriosis.

Not only is a woman forced to undergo emotional agony because of her husband's absence, but she is also forced to face social humiliation. The things that society puts forward as symbols of femininity and desirability are snatched away overnight. Widows are systematically kept out of social functions (celebration of menarche or marriage), Clomid And Endometriosis india, they are stigmatized and heaped with abuse and they are denied all decision making at the family level. They are also denied civil rights--commonly-held beliefs discriminate widows by virtue of their being considered "inauspicious". Clomid And Endometriosis, Tamil proverbs say that to see a widow early in the morning effectively ruins a day, and so on.

Yesterday, the women who were the driving force behind the documentary Pottu, got together and announced that soon they would be hosting the first international conference of widows, 1000mg Clomid And Endometriosis, destitute and deserted women. They have two demands: laws to prosecute people who abuse widows in degrading terms and social, economic, legal rehabilitation for the widows.

There are several reasons why such a project has emerged from Tamil Nadu. According to a statistics by the Kalangarai Trust approximately 10% of the households in the state are headed by widows, and that 24% of the widows live alone, 100mg Clomid And Endometriosis. Majority of the widows are mothers of the head of the household, Clomid And Endometriosis. Their study also shows that the highest concentration of widows (8.06% of the general population) in Tamil Nadu arises from two categories of widows particular to the southern-coastal districts of the state: Tsunami widows and widows of men who have succumbed to HIV/AIDS. A large number of them work as daily wage labourers.

Tamil widows face a particular problem because of the manner in which their language subjugates them. The English word widow has an equivalent masculine form widower (which might carry fewer negative connotations may be, but at least a word exists). There's no equivalent masculine form for the word vidhavai Clomid And Endometriosis, (widow) in Tamil. 10mg Clomid And Endometriosis, On the other hand, in popular practice, a just-widowed man is humorously referred to as the pudhu maapillai (new bridegroom)--perhaps enshrining the fact that he would soon be married to someone.

Widowhood is also becoming a problem that cuts across cultures. No longer are Hindu widows alone subjected to such torment. Even a religion like Islam, where there's no bar on widow remarriage, Clomid And Endometriosis usa, is being influenced by local practices. At the documentary release function, a Muslim woman lamented how her own community was now following these meaningless practices which has historically plagued the Hindu religion, Clomid And Endometriosis.

The efforts of William Benetick and Raja Rammohun Roy put an end to the Sati system in 1829. The Widow Remarriage Act was passed in 1856. Another hundred years later, the Child Marriage Restraint Act came into place. Clomid And Endometriosis us, Every reformer and every revolutionary on the Indian soil has voiced about the condition of widows: Phule opened a home for widows and abandoned children, Dr. Clomid And Endometriosis, Ambedkar traced the roots of the sati system in the necessity to maintain/preserve the endogamous caste structure, Periyar argued for widow remarriage. Even a middle-of-the-road traditionalist reformer like Gandhi condemned the practice of widowhood in no uncertain terms. Pandita Ramabai became an icon by speaking out against the heinous nature of imposed widowhood.

Today, as women fight against gender injustice and social indignity, they are forced to confront several challenges: how to oppose cultural facets that alienate widows, 250mg Clomid And Endometriosis, how to create alternative cultural symbols that don't differentiate between women, how to develop a policy framework not only for widows but also for single women in India and especially how to fight against a hypocritical system where the oppressor is not someone from the outside, but one’s own blood, one’s own family. Perhaps this is one area where there is no dearth of Hindi/Tamil films that describe the plight, Clomid And Endometriosis overseas, but there is a paucity of public debate and discussion.

(p.s.: Women members of this organization demanded (rightfully of course) that they should be allowed to wear bangles, wear flowers, and above all, wear the pottu. However, every 'invited' speaker pointed out that all women should unite to throw away the markers of marriage and/or femininity such as the bangles/flowers/pottu/thaali and so on. All of us might agree that these are decisions which women should take as individuals, and not just as a category, but then, what's your take on this?).

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